EPF money for retirement, not for paying off credit cards & Ah Long

MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW

KUALA LUMPUR: The proposal to withdraw Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings for the purpose of paying off credit card or ‘Ah Long’ (loan shark) debts is not in line with the body's objective of providing retirement savings for its members, the Finance Ministry said.

The ministry, in a written reply, said such withdrawals will reduce savings for EPF members, hence affecting the savings for their future retirement.

“The EPF's aim is to provide retirement savings to support members when they retire.

“The permitted withdrawals are only for retirement purposes or to add value to their savings upon retiring,” it said.

The ministry said this in a written reply to P. Kasthuriraani (DAP-Batu Kawan), who had asked the Finance Minister to state the number of Malaysians who had gone bankrupt from 2010 until today.

She had also asked if the EPF allows its members to legally withdraw a small amount of money from EPF savings, according to its guidelines, to pay off burdensome credit card loans or Ah Long debts.

Meanwhile, on the number of bankrupts, the ministry, citing statistics from the Insolvency Department, said the number of those bankrupt were 18,119 (2010), rising steadily over the next four years to 19,167 (2011), 19,575 (2012), 21,987 (2013), 22,351 (2014) before seeing a drop in 2015 (18,457).